Traveler Satisfaction With Airports Declines After Hitting High in 2021, Says J.D. Power
Fewer flights, crowded terminals and sparse food and beverage offerings cited as issues >>
by: Harvey Chipkin
After reaching an all-time high in 2021, when passenger volumes were a fraction of the historical norm, traveler satisfaction with airports has “fallen down to Earth,” according to the J.D. Power 2022 North America Airport Satisfaction Study. As global passenger volume reaches 91% of pre-pandemic levels, according to the report, overall satisfaction this year is down 25 points (on a 1,000-point scale) as travelers encounter fewer flights, more crowded terminals and sparse food and beverage offerings. Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead, said the combination of pent-up demand for air travel, the nationwide labor shortage and steadily rising prices on everything from jet fuel to a bottle of water have created a scenario in which airports are extremely crowded and passengers are increasingly frustrated — and it is likely to continue through 2023. In some ways, he said, this is a return to normal, as larger crowds at airports tend to make travelers more frazzled, but in cases where parking lots are over capacity, gates are standing room only and restaurants and bars are not even open to offer some reprieve, “it is clear that increased capacity in airports can’t come soon enough.” Highlights of the rankings included:
• Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport ranks highest in passenger satisfaction among mega airports, with a score of 800. San Francisco International Airport (796) ranks second, while Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (791) and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York (791) each rank third in a tie.
• Tampa International Airport ranks highest among large airports, with a score of 846. John Wayne Airport, Orange County (826), ranks second, and Dallas Love Field (825) ranks third.
• Indianapolis International Airport ranks highest among medium airports, with a score of 842. Pittsburgh International Airport (839) ranks second, while Jacksonville International Airport (826) and Southwest Florida International Airport (826) each rank third in a tie.